What planet’s he on? Former presenter claims the BBC is pro-Brexit, gives too much airtime to Leavers and should not accept the vote as irreversible
- Former BBC presenter, Raymond Snoddy says the corporation is probably too much in favour of Brexit
- He warned it needed to be careful in its interpretation of its Brexit guidelines
- Mr Snoddy, aged 72, says the BBC was giving too much airtime to Brexiteers
The BBC has faced repeated accusations that its coverage has an ‘anti-Brexit’ bias.
Tory MPs are among critics to have complained that the ‘Brussels Broadcasting Corporation’ gives prominence to Remain stories while blaming all bad news on the referendum result.
Yet one former BBC presenter now says the corporation is probably too much in favour of Brexit and should not accept that the 2016 vote is irreversible.
Raymond Snoddy warned the BBC needed to be careful in its interpretation of its Brexit guidelines
Raymond Snoddy, who presented the BBC’s weekly viewer right-to-reply programme NewsWatch between 2004 to 2013, warned that the BBC needed to be careful in its interpretation of its own guidelines on impartiality on Brexit. Snoddy, 72, said the BBC was giving too much airtime to Brexiteers and was treating the decision to leave the EU as though it had been ‘irrevocably taken’.
He said: ‘Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis has asked why Nigel Farage has appeared on BBC1’s Question Time 32 times in recent years and is still appearing, despite never having been elected to Parliament. He might also have asked why hardline Brexiteers such as Sir Bernard Jenkin and Jacob Rees-Mogg are seldom off the airwaves without having held government office.’
Speaking to Radio Times, he said the problem was the BBC’s interpretation of its guidelines on impartiality when it comes to reporting Brexit. He added: ‘Director-general Lord Hall says that the BBC is no longer reporting on the binary choice that faced the electorate in the referendum, but examining “the Brexit negotiations and the impact of Brexit on the UK and the wider world”. As if the decision to leave the EU has been irrevocably taken.’
Mr Snoddy, a media commentator, supported the view that because parliament had not yet taken the formal decision to leave the EU was breaching its Royal Charter, which says BBC news must show due impartiality.
He added: ‘It is late, but not too late, for Lord Hall to withdraw his “guidelines” and admit an honest mistake. If he does not, history will judge both him and BBC coverage harshly, when it is too late to do anything about it.’